b. 1841 Niagara County, New York. d. 21/10/1864 Memphis, Tennessee.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 03/1863 Deer Creek Expedition, Mississippi.
A native of Ireland, Huskey immigrated to the United States with his family as a child, in 1848 or 1849. The family originally settled in Lockport, New York, and later moved to nearby Royalton. Huskey Cemetery in Royalton is located on the old family farm.
Huskey joined the U.S. Navy early in the war and worked as a fireman, feeding coal to the boilers aboard steamships. By March 1863, he was serving on the gunboat USS Carondelet, part of the Mississippi River Squadron, conducting operations in support of the campaign to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi. During Steele’s Bayou Expedition in mid-March, the Carondelet was among a group of Union ships which attempted to bypass Vicksburg and reach the Yazoo River from the Mississippi by steaming through Steele’s Bayou. The ships became stuck in the bayou’s narrow channel and came under fire from Confederate soldiers on shore. In an effort to trap the ships, the Confederates began chopping down trees such that they fell across the channel. During the engagement, the tugboat USS Ivy, which carried the commanding Union admiral, became stuck. Despite the Confederate fire, Huskey volunteered for a rescue party which successfully freed the Ivy. Union troops led by General William T. Sherman cleared the Confederate soldiers from the area, but the bayou proved impassable and the ships were forced to turn back.
For his actions during the expedition, he was approved for the Medal of Honor a year later, on April 16, 1864. Only months later, in October 1864, Huskey died of illness at a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He had neither claimed nor received his Medal of Honor before his death; it is unclear whether he was ever aware of the award. Huskey’s place of burial is unknown.
Fireman on board the U.S.S. Carondelet, Deer Creek Expedition, March 1863. Carrying out his duties gallantly, Huskey volunteered to aid in the rescue of the tug Ivy under the fire of the enemy, and set forth general meritorious conduct during this hazardous mission.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
IN MEMORY OF MARKER IN ST PATRICK’S CEMETERY, LOCKPORT, NEW YORK.
SECTION 4, PLOT 95.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNCLAIMED.